Dear Members and Friends,
On 17 May we hosted "Meet the High Commissioner" in the Exhibition Hall. This was a hugely popular and significant event where HE the Hon. Stephen Smith discussed the Australian Government’s key priorities and the High Commission's plans and objectives for the coming years. We all enjoyed hearing from and meeting His Excellency and the Deputy High Commissioner. A huge thanks must go to them and their team for helping us to stage this important evening. We have some wonderful photos which can be seen here.
We are hosting our Summer Party on Wednesday 21 June 6-8pm in the glorious gardens of the Royal Over-Seas League, overlooking Green Park. If you missed out on tickets and would like to join our waitlist, please get in touch with our office.
This summer sees the 73rd Ashes series in the UK. In celebration of that momentous sporting fixture, we were thrilled last month to announce "The Politics of Cricket".On Wednesday 3 July 6.30-8.30pm,two former Prime Ministers of Australia and Britain, the Hon. John Howard and the Rt. Hon. Sir John Major, will discuss the Australian/British relationship - told through the eyes of the great game of cricket! Thanks to our moderator, BBC presenter Ms Eleanor Oldroyd, and our sponsor Coutts for helping us stage this exceptional event. Again, our tickets sold out in minutes. However please get in touch with us here if you would like to join our waitlist.
Cricket has always been a big part of the British-Australian relationship. As mentioned last month, our extraordinary archives have now been sent off for physical restoration. The digitisation process has already occurred. As part of that process, our restorers have meta-tagged our archives to make searching and research much easier. When looking for items relating to "cricket" we came across a lovely story from 1977 when, at the invitation of the B-AS, a young Australian cricket team toured the UK as part of HM Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee celebrations. Please scroll down for further details including a wonderful statement from HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who was of course our patron for nearly 50 years.
The summer holidays are fast approaching but we are busily planning two very important events for you in September. Wednesday 13 September sees our celebration of the "50th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House - International Icon and Feat of Modern Engineering" at the Institution of Civil Engineers - a glorious building designed by Brunel at One Great George Street in London. And on Wednesday 27 September we will again host our incredibly popular annual "President's Reception" with Lord Hague of Richmond in the Exhibition Hall of Australia House. The High Commissioner, himself an ex-Foreign Minister and Defence Minister, has agreed to join Lord Hague on stage for a discussion of contemporary foreign affairs impacting Australia and the UK. It will be a fabulously informative and interesting evening. Tickets for these two events will go on sale in the coming weeks and I strongly encourage you to book for these as soon as possible. And please keep an eye on your inboxes!
There are many other initiatives underway and I will look forward to reporting more in the next newsletter.
We have a fabulous offer for our B-AS supporters this month. Australian-born producer (and B-AS board member) Trish Wadley has opened a fabulous play with TV stars Luke Newton (Bridgerton) and Amber Anderson (Peaky Blinders). "The Shape of Things" is a chilling comedy drawing us into the intimate relationships of two student couples at a small-town American college - with hilarious consequences. Please scroll down for your special discount code and booking details.
We also have a very special B-AS Members only offerthis month - TWO tickets for one lucky Member to attend the Royal Household Division Military Musical Spectacular on Thursday 6 July at Horse Guards Parade! Please scroll down for entry details.
And to become a Member of the B-AS and support the work we do please click here.
Finally, congratulations to our lucky Member who won our May prize draw for a copy of Roger Neill's book, "The Simonsens of St Kilda". Congratulations also to the Members who won our tickets to both the Chelsea Flower Show and the tour of the Buckingham Palace State Rooms. We always love hearing from our Members and were thrilled to receive an email from the winner of Roger's book which we passed on to Roger, as well as some gorgeous photos from both the Flower Show and the Palace (please see below).
Damian J. Walsh